Love Requires Faith — Especially In The Hard Times

Tom Kuegler
Photo by Yoann Boyer on Unsplash
“There’s times my wife hasn’t wanted to be with me.”

I was shocked to hear that. I was sitting down in front of my college wrestling coach telling him I wanted to quit the team.

He listened to me, then he began making some really great points about how you’re not always going to WANT to do things in life.

For instance, he talked about his marriage and how they both didn’t always want to be with each other. He used his marriage as a metaphor for what I was going through — even though I hated wrestling right now, maybe it would be best if I kept going.

I think he was right. You can’t quit things the second your mind decides you don’t like them anymore. That’s not how marriage, friendships, or relationships at large should work.

They require perseverance — especially when you feel your passion slipping.

It was a moment of pure honesty from my coach that I really appreciated looking back — and even though I still quit the team, his core message has never left me.

True love isn’t passion, it’s staying committed even when you don’t want to be there anymore.

True love is also an act of faith. You’re trusting that the passion will come back. It is the ultimate test of character in my opinion, and those who have stayed with their spouses or partners for decades deserve a lot of respect.

It’s hard work.

Love Is A Long-Term Commitment, Not A Short-Term Fling

Perhaps my biggest fault is the fact that I love the “honeymoon” phase way too much. I’ve been known to jump from relationship to relationship because when the passion dies out, I feel that it can’t be real love. It’s a vastly immature way of looking at love, I know.

Perhaps I’m not cut out for long-term relationships. Perhaps I’m a gigantic asshole. I don’t do it on purpose, though — it’s just that I’m so guided by my emotions and my gut feelings that I can actually confuse myself.

For me, if something doesn’t “feel” right, I don’t want any part of it. It’s a flaw in my way of thinking. Perhaps it’s even a flaw in my character.

The way to get around this is reminding myself that true love is an act of faith. It is certainly not something that’s always going to feel right. Emotions are a short-term fling, and true love is a long-term commitment.

You Have To Believe In Love Like Religious People Believe In God

“Doubt is useful. It keeps faith a living thing. After all, you cannot know the strength of your faith until it has been tested.”
-Life of Pi

How can anyone be 100% sure there’s a God out there? We can’t be — which is why it’s called faith.

I bet many people do all they can to avoid doubt in a relationship. The problem is, that’s actually what makes the love stronger.

Practically everyone can keep at something when their fortunes are good. Stock market’s going up? I’ll keep buying! My favorite team’s winning? I’ll keep watching!

The difficulty lies in sticking with something during a downturn. How many people panic when the stock market dives? Practically everybody. What do they do? They sell. They get rid of their investments promptly.

What do smart investors do? They buy in a downturn while stocks are at a discount. Most people sell while the stock market goes to hell, not buy. That shows you all you need to know about the fickleness of most people — including me!

Smart investors have the same thing that long-term relationships need: Faith.

They blindly believe that things are going to get better, and they’re willing to stick with the stock market through the dark times. If it were easy to do so, then why don’t more people do it?

Doubt Is A Common Part Of Loving Someone

Doubt is part of love. My college wrestling coach of all people helped me realize that. I always thought my parents — who have been married for dozens of years — always loved each other no matter what.

The truth is they probably didn’t.

But every time they came back to each other, their love grew stronger.

It sounds stupid to say, but I’ve learned that true love isn’t a thump in your chest. It’s not always going to feel good, either. Love is messy and requires a good bit of faith.

As someone who puts so much stock in how I’m feeling in the moment, I need to remember that more.

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